TopTV to sue porn channel

2011-12-07 09:24

TopTV wants to file a lawsuit against PSat and is accusing the channel of misrepresentation and abuse of the TopTV brand, said Marius Liebenberg of TopTV.

The channel has also applied for a licence from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to broadcast three pornographic TV channels.

This follows African Satellite Installations (ASI) announcing the launch of a new local 24-hour porn channel in January.

If the launch goes ahead, South Africans will be able to see hardcore pornography from mid-January on the French Porn Satellite Television (PSat) channel by purchasing an extra decoder and smart card for R99, John Solomon of ASI advertised.

“PSat encourages buyers of the channel to disconnect their TopTV decoders (when they want to watch the PSat channel), but is not telling users that it’s illegal. These actions violate TopTV’s rights,” said TopTV’s Liebenberg.

According to Solomon, TopTV has no grounds for a lawsuit.

“The French channel has been known in African countries for three years already and I don’t need to obtain a licence for that. I am also only the distributor of the decoder and not the broadcaster or the owner of the channel.

“Various channels, such as TopTV and PSat, rent space on the Astra 4A satellite. Decoders that are purchased locally can only receive certain channels. All I do is sell a decoder that can receive those pornography channels.”

Icasa’s approval

More than 2 500 interested parties have reportedly contacted Solomon.

According Paseka Maleka, Icasa spokesperson, Solomon has cause for concern.

“It is not clear where these decoders are coming from. Icasa must approve the import of the equipment first before it can be distributed.

“In addition, Icasa has not received an application for a licence for the distribution of pornography from PSat. Because viewers must subscribe to the channel, it is subject to Icasa’s approval.”

Maleka said TopTV’s licence to start broadcasting pornography has not yet been approved.

Professor Kobus van Rooyen of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa said that all channels that are broadcast locally are subject to the commission’s authority.

“Subscription channels broadcasting directly from overseas are not subject to such strict rules. There are, however, limits such as hate speech, explicit R18 sex and senseless violence,” said Prof van Rooyen.

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